May 30, 2012
STILLWATER, Okla., May 30, 2012 – Francie Tolle, Oklahoma State Executive Director for the Farm Service Agency (FSA), today announced that USDA Secretary Thomas A. Vilsack has approved the closure of the Pawnee FSA county office in Oklahoma, a process that will begin immediately. After the required notifications have been provided to producers, FSA employees and office landlords, a closure date will be established and made publicly available.
In reviewing data and public comments during a statutory 90-day Congressional notification period, FSA determined that the Mayes County office did not meet eligibility requirements for consolidation. As a result, this office has not been approved for closure in the Secretary’s plan.
“FSA places the utmost priority on ensuring that our services to producers remain strong as this consolidation process begins,” says FSA Administrator, Bruce Nelson. The agency will provide farmers and ranchers affected by closures an opportunity to choose the most convenient neighboring county office with which to conduct their future business with the agency.
As a federal agency, FSA has been affected by widespread budget reductions made by Congress. Since 2011, the Agency has lost 1,230 permanent employees through voluntary early separation and normal retirement. In addition, FSA has been forced to reduce discretionary administrative expenses by over 30 percent in the last fiscal year alone.
The only county office confirmed for closure in Oklahoma is Pawnee County. For a complete list of FSA county offices affected by this decision, go to: http://www.fsa.usda.gov/officeconsolidations
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